Gradcracker, the careers website for graduate engineers, was recently asked by the Universities of York and Birmingham to host presentations to groups of engineering students.
The focus of the sessions was the current economic climate and the effect that it is having on graduate recruitment in engineering.
Gradcracker employers Amec Nuclear and Transport for London took part in the York event and Atkins, the Royal Navy, Schlumberger and Corus joined Gradcracker in Birmingham.
Each presentation began with an introduction from Gradcracker Director, Sean O’Connor, who gave the students an overview of the economic situation in general, the effects this is having on graduate engineer recruitment and how engineering graduates must work not only harder, but also smarter, to beat the competition.
Representatives from each employer then spoke to the students.
At York, both Amec Nuclear and Transport for London emphasised that their sectors were still seeking engineering students. At Birmingham, Schlumberger pointed out that fresh talent was needed because new technologies were required to access hydrocarbons, especially in ‘mature’ oilfields.
Corus was keen to point out that headlines regarding lay-offs did not mean companies were abandoning longer term succession planning. The Royal Navy said it was actually suffering from a shortage of engineering graduates. Atkins encouraged the students to take more care in their applications – the use of text-speak and spelling errors were inexcusable in a tightened market. So, there is some good news out there for graduate engineers.
Mr O’Connor explained: ‘There have been a lot of gloomy headlines about job cuts, plummeting profits and bleak prospects for job seekers in the future, but there is good news out there too, just less of it. Some engineering companies are continuing to prosper, for example those in sectors such as ene rgy and defence.
“And the 2012 Olympics will generate an enormous amount of employment, much of which will be in engineering. Despite the recession, around three quarters of the eighty companies advertising on Gradcracker are still recruiting graduates and offering work placement opportunities.’